"You are not listening to ME!"
Communicating effectively and having developed listening skills is crucially important in a Client Centred Learning relationship. In fact, listening is just as important as speaking.
So why is listening so important?
No one likes to think they are being ignored or misunderstood, right? Being a good active listener makes your pupil feel involved; that they have a valid contribution to the discussion; that you value their feedback and are happy to hear their views, opinions and comments.
So how does listening help?
Effective listening helps you catch everything being communicated. It helps you better understand and solve problems your pupil has. It also helps you develop a stronger rapport. Effective listening means fewer misunderstandings between you and your pupil, less wasted time, less frustration and a faster learning experience.
"Effective listening is like panning for gold. If you are not intensely focused on everything being said you can miss a shiny, single nugget of information that makes all the difference."
So, if you are not completely 'tuned in' to your pupil, you can easily miss something that would have taken you down a more appropriate, completely different and unexpected learning path.
Catching what's being said, (and the importance of what's being said) means better opportunities to understand a pupil's thoughts, how they feel and what they believe. Something crucially important for a Client Centred Learning relationship.
“I see what you are saying!”
Sometimes it's not what is being 'said' that communicates a message. A pupil's body language and how they are reacting can give away a wealth of information that you would not want to miss.
Effective communication is not just about listening with our ears. It's also about listening with our eyes. What we see from our pupil's actions and reactions can be a valuable insight into what a pupil might be thinking, feeling and what emotional state they are in at that moment.
Consider how you look when you are angry, sad, relaxed, nervous, feeling ill or frustrated? Or, when you are happy or just thinking about something? Can you recognise your own body language?
What messages good or bad might this be giving off to your pupil?
Can you recognise your pupil's body language? Are you sensitive to it? What might this be telling you?
Here are five ways to improve your communication skills:
1) Face the pupil and give them your attention.
It is difficult to talk to someone who is constantly looking around. Make sure to face the pupil, maintain eye contact, and give them your undivided attention.
In Western cultures, eye contact is necessary for effective communication. Although shyness, uncertainty, living with autism or cultural taboos may inhibit eye contact, try your best to make sure the pupil knows that they have your full attention. Be considerate to pupils who may feel threatened by eye contact. You may have to find other ways of letting them know you are listening.
2) Keep an open mind.
Do not judge or mentally criticise what the pupil is telling you while they are speaking. Doing so can compromise your ability to take in what is being said. Never judge behaviour, as it compromises your effectiveness as a listener. You can evaluate what was said after the pupil is finished talking, but don’t do so while you are still listening to them.
3) Be patient.
Let the pupil finish what they are saying and don’t be a sentence-grabber. Interrupting a pupil or stopping them from finishing what they are saying can indicate disrespect to the pupil. Often, interrupting the pupil mid-sentence interrupts their train of thought and can easily destroy a productive conversation.
4) Active listening.
Active listening shows the pupil that you’re interested and is an important Coaching skill. Using active listening techniques helps to ensure that you correctly understand what is said. Your Q&A is important to check your understanding so as not to misinterpret what the pupil is saying.
Some ways of doing that include:• Paraphrasing back to the pupil what was said, to show understanding. • Non-verbal cues that you are listening like nodding, eye contact, etc.• Verbal responses to what's being said (“I understand,” “I know,” “Thank you,” etc.)• Demonstrating concern and establishing rapport.
5) Just listen!
Listen to keywords and phrases and do not rehearse what you are going to say after the pupil is done talking. Think about what the pupil is saying rather than what you are going to respond with. It is difficult to think of what you are going to say while also listening to the pupil. Be attentive and relaxed – don’t get distracted by your own thoughts and feelings.
Effective communication including speaking and listening skills are essential in building a Client Centred relationship. By being an attentive, active listener, you can understand more and be better able to deliver effective training around the DVSA Driver and Rider Training Standard.
The BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development helps you to develop and improve your communication and listening skills.
Click the link below to come and join Sally Kaur and myself on the start of a fantastic journey of personal development that will make your training stand out.
Ray Seagrave ADI, Tri-Coaching BTEC 4 Trainer
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The Tri-Coaching Team
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ROUTE 51 Pass your Standards Check
Route 51 can help you achieve top marks on your Standards Check.
It consists of:
The online materials will be delivered to your email address via a series of emails with links to pre-recorded video webinars. The online webinars are also divided into the same six sections as the Course Book and can be watched alongside. With wifi access, you will be able to watch or just listen to the webinars on your mobile phone, for example, whenever or wherever you wish.
This course is ideal for you if:
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ADI Train the Trainer Course
Are you interested in growing your driving school or expanding outside of your area; and would you love to have a ready-made training course that gives the trainee everything they need to become a great driving instructor?
Tri-Coaching Partnership has a complete driving instructor training package with 12 in-car sessions and a Course Book, which you can use to deliver your driving instructor training. Here are some great reasons why you might want to come on our two-day training course:
What happens on the course:
The first day will be spent in the classroom and the second day will be out in the car. The course looks at lesson planning, risk management, teaching and learning strategies and role play and focuses on training people to become driving instructors, rather than just getting them ready to pass a test. There are limited places available on each course so book early.
The course costs £600 including VAT (monthly payment is £200 x 3 or weekly payment of £50 x 12)
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52 Weekly Webinars
A new webinar is sent to you every week for a year. The information in the webinars covers all aspects of driver training from the Goals for Driver Education to the differences between coaching and instruction to the use of essential coaching skills of questioning, listening, feedback, intuition and rapport plus much, much more. Every week you will receive an email from us with a link to the webinar.You can download the webinar and save to your PC or SMART phone for viewing again whenever you want.
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